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8 March 2016 The significance of postreproductive lifespans in killer whales: a comment on Robeck et al.
Daniel W. Franks, Stuart Nattrass, Lauren J. N. Brent, Hal Whitehead, Andrew D. Foote, Sonia Mazzi, John K. B. Ford, Kenneth C. Balcomb, Michael A. Cant, Darren P. Croft
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Abstract

Robeck et al. (2015) claim that reproductive and actuarial senescence is common in mammalian species and therefore not an unexpected finding in killer whales. However, in most mammals, reproductive and somatic senescence are aligned, and reproduction gradually declines with age. In contrast, there is a substantial evidence that reproductive senescence is unusually accelerated relative to somatic senescence in resident killer whales, resulting in a prolonged postreproductive lifespan. We demonstrate that a postreproductive lifespan is a key component of resident killer whale life history, and is robust to reasonable error in age estimates.

© 2016 American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org
Daniel W. Franks, Stuart Nattrass, Lauren J. N. Brent, Hal Whitehead, Andrew D. Foote, Sonia Mazzi, John K. B. Ford, Kenneth C. Balcomb, Michael A. Cant, and Darren P. Croft "The significance of postreproductive lifespans in killer whales: a comment on Robeck et al.," Journal of Mammalogy 97(3), 906-909, (8 March 2016). https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyw021
Received: 5 November 2015; Accepted: 22 January 2016; Published: 8 March 2016
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